By David Futrelle
So I was poking around in the KotakuInAction ubreddit — Reddit’s self-proclaimed “hub for GamerGate” — to see how the regulars were dealing with the news that idiot YouTube megastar PewDiePie was going to donate, and then was not going to donate, a big chunk of money to the Anti-Defamation League.
And within about thirty seconds I stumbled across this huge pile of Nazi shit that a one-day-old Redditor had decided to deposit in the comments.
This is classic Nazi recruitment propaganda. It reinforces a host of already-existing prejudices against an assortment of groups — from blacks to Jews to gay men to women. It tries to make these prejudices seem like rational responses to things members of these groups allegedly do, to change the terms of the debate from, for example, “bigotry against black people” to “black crime.” It offers sympathy towards those with prejudices, portraying them as the real victims.
The purpose of these rhetorical moves? To nudge those who may carry deep within them some or all of these same prejudices — and who may have faced blowback for expressing some of them in the past — towards more explicit and open racism, antisemitism, homophobia and misogyny. In short, it’s an attempt to convert casual bigots into outright Nazis.
I’m not posting this comment here today because it’s typical of KotakuInAction — though there’s certainly an antisemitic undercurrent (and sometimes a not-so-under current) in the discussions of PewDiePie and the ADL. I’m posting it because it’s so clearly an attempt at recruitment — whether it’s the work of one freelance wannabe Nazi-maker, or part of an broader organized effort.
Why might a wannabe Nazi-maker think that the regulars in KotakuInAction would be receptive to such a message?
You will find my answer to that question here.
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